CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A wildlife manager at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station was checking on sea turtle nests in May when she came upon a small package of drugs and then another and another that turned out to be about $1.2 million in cocaine, according to Space Launch Delta 45.
Angy Chambers, a 45th Civil Engineer Squadron wildlife manager, was patrolling the beach for a sea turtle nesting survey May 19 when she made the unusual discovery washed up along the shore. After finding the first package she suspected it might be drugs and contacted authorities, according to a news release.
“I immediately contacted the 45th Security Forces Squadron,” Chambers said. “While I was waiting for them to arrive, I drove a little further and noticed another package, and then another. At that point, I called SFS back and suggested they bring their UTV, or Utility Terrain Vehicle, as I counted at least 18 packages.”
Joseph Parker, 45th SFS flight sergeant, arrived and began search and closure protocols along the beach. He then notified the sheriff’s office.
“After securing the scene and collecting the contraband, a Brevard County Sheriff’s Office narcotics agent performed a field test on one of the packages and verified that it was cocaine,” Parker said. “We then documented all 24 packages and placed them in evidence bags.”
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office estimated the drugs are valued at $1.2 million.
The 24 bricks of cocaine were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
HSI special agent David Castro told Space Launch Delta 45 drug traffickers will transport bulk shipments by sea and sometimes the wrapping around bales of 25 bricks can come undone and the drugs are lost at sea, eventually washing along the coastline in the U.S.
Last month, 63 pounds of cocaine washed ashore in the Florida Keys valued at more than $1.4 million, according to the U.S. Border Patrol
The origin of the large amount of cocaine found at the Space Force Station is under investigation.